Santa Claus is coming to Mansfield, and he’s bringing a lot of Christmas cheer. The Jolly Old Elf will make his debut at the Mansfield Women’s Club’s Festival of Trees on Saturday.
Santa will feel right at home, surrounded by almost 70 festive Christmas trees, 17 decorated wreaths and a holiday gift table loaded with Christmas decor. And everything -- except Santa -- is for sale.
The Women’s Club’s second annual Festival of Trees is a fund-raiser for Harvesting International Food Bank in Mansfield. Last year, the club rounded up 50 trees and raised $7,000 for the food bank. This year, with 66 trees, the group hopes to raise even more money.
“We’re hoping a lot of the trees will go for a lot of money,” said Suzi Hogan, the event’s co-chairperson. “It’s is a going to take a few more years for this to catch on. We hope in a few years we have hundreds of trees.”
The 4-foot trees have been donated by insurance agents, Realtors, the Mansfield Police wives group, doctors’ offices, banks, a construction company, Avante Salon and Day Spa and Ace Hardware. Pet Smart’s tree is named “A Dog Gone Merry Christmas,” while Poured has “A Toast to the Holidays.” The Ladies of Links Crossing decorated and donated “Brighton Your Holidays,” a tree loaded with Brighton ornaments. The Wesley Mission Center contributed a patriotic tree, and Bass Hall donated a golden Christmas.
“The Women’s Club board’s tree is called Christmas flowers,” Hogan said. “It has great big white flowers, gold balls and green and gold accents. It’s hard to see the tree. I think it was a green tree. Honestly, you can’t see the tree!”
Valorie Hague, who serves on the Women’s Club’s fund-raising committee, said a lot of people put a lot of time, effort and money into decorating the forest of Christmas trees.
“We should have just donated the money,” she said with a laugh. “Some people spent $250 to $300 to decorate their tree. But it’s so much fun!”
The trees will be up for silent auction from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Friday and Saturday at St. Jude Catholic Church, 500 E. Dallas St. If buyers want to be sure they get the tree they want, they can also buy it on the spot for a set price. But they can’t pick up their tree until after the event closes Saturday evening or Sunday afternoon. A holiday gift table will be loaded with Christmas decor, gifts and even a taco bar for 50 people, courtesy of El Primo’s, that might look good under the tree.
Even if you already have a Christmas tree, the Women’s Club wants people to come see the trees and enjoy the event, Hogan said, which is why admission is free.
“We want to be a blessing to the community,” she said. “Bring the children.”
Kids will especially want to be there between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday, which is when Santa Claus makes his first appearance for the holiday. Visiting with the big guy is also free, and parents and grandparents can bring their cameras for photos.
The handbell choir from First United Methodist will perform from 4-5 p.m. Saturday, too.
“It’s a nice way to get a tree early and help Harvesting International,” Hague said.
Festival of Trees
9 a.m.-6 p.m. Friday and Saturday
St. Jude Catholic Church
500 E. Dallas St.